Fire Destroys Boats At Elm Hill Marina - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Fire Destroys Boats At Elm Hill Marina

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by Chris Cannon

DONELSON, Tenn. - Fire chased nearly a dozen people from their beds early Sunday morning, as they slept on boats at Elm Hill Marina.

The fire started on a houseboat and Pat Bush was the first person to notice the flames.

"I looked out the window and I saw a glow, an orange glow and I thought, oh that's not good," Bush said.

Several boats on Dock C were in flames and the blaze was spreading to other boats.

Bush was on the boat with his young son and the two quickly started to wake people sleeping on other boats.

"We ran down the dock screaming fire, to wake up all our boat neighbors," Bush explained.

One of those neighbors called 911 and the Nashville Fire Department responded, both on land, and by boat. Firefighters had their hands full when they arrived on the scene.

PHOTOS: Elm Hill Marina Boat Fire

"It's one of those things, when one of these boats catches on fire, there's no stopping it, all the way to the way," said boat owner Tom Gibson.

Firefighters spent hour battling the flames. They were able to cut three boats free and move them to the shore line so they would not spread to any other docks. Two other boats sank to the bottom of Percy Priest Lake.

Six firefighters were standing on a ramp at Dock B when it collapsed and sent them into the water. They all safely made it out of the lake.

By mid-morning Sunday an environmental clean-up crew had arrived at Elm Hill Marina.

"You figure four houseboats, at 200 gallons per house boat, that a lot of fuel that's going to be in the water, a lot of oil," said boater Terry Bean.

The crews put booms in the water to collect any fuel that was on the surface. They also had to deal with three burned boats on the shoreline, and two that were underwater.

No one was injured during the fire. Portions of Docks C and B were heavily damaged.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation.


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